Tobagonians warned after covid19 death: ‘It’s a wake-up call’


Althea Nelson, 62, died on Sunday from covid19. –

Tobago has recorded its third covid19 death – the first in eight months.

The THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development on Monday said the patient, a 62-year-old woman with co-morbidities, died on Sunday. No other information was provided on the deceased.

Newsday was told that the patient is 62-year-old Althea Nelson of Bon Accord. An immediate family member, who declined to be named, confirmed Nelson’s death. Nelson, the relative said, had a pre-existing medical condition and had been ailing for some time. She was also restricted to her home.

Newsday understands Nelson was admitted to Scarborough General Hospital at the end of April, after complaining of feeling unwell, and was being treated at the Intensive Care Unit.

The relative said she was swabbed late last week and diagnosed with the virus mere hours before her death. All other household family members were swabbed on Monday.

Health Secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine on Monday said she was saddened by the loss.

“No one should have to die due to this virus,” she said.

“The staff did all they could, and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones. We will do our best to offer further emotional support at this time.”

Davidson-Celestine called on Tobagonians to be vigilant.

“This should be a wake-up call for Tobagonians. We need to be vigilant and look out for everyone. This is not a joke – every life we lose is precious. The vaccine and proper mask-wearing are our main lines of defence. Sanitising and keeping six feet away are critical. We need people to get vaccinated and stay home, what we don’t need are more people to die.”

Progressive Democratic Patriots deputy leader and Parlatuvier/ L’Anse Fourmi/ Speyside representative Farley Augustine also described the death as a wake-up call.

“This should be a strong reminder that covid19 remains a serious virus,” Augustine said.

“In the absence of herd immunity, which will only come when sufficient residents are able to get vaccinated, locking down and locking away from people is our best bet.”

He called on citizens to practise health protocols and do their part.

“I want to remind people that the lockdown is not an opportunity to go visit family and lime. It is not an opportunity to spend the weekend out – that is dangerous. Stick to your own household, it is a virus; viruses spread, that is what they do – be more vigilant.”

Insp Piggott: People still liming

However, Tobago police media ambassador acting Insp Alicia Piggott said Tobagonians are still not adhering to the public health regulations.

She said on Monday, “Just today the police had to go to the Bacolet cemetery where in excess of 100 persons attending funeral.”

Piggott said police issue in excess of 40 face mask tickets daily, while also making mention of illegal gatherings in Whim.

“Residents of Whim insist on gathering on Sunday night, the day harvest is usually celebrated. Persons still insist on going out to friends and families’ homes for drinks and food on Sunday, as if there is harvest.”

She said one man was also charged for bathing in the sea

Piggott stressed, “If you are not an essential worker, stay home. Sanitise, social distance and mask up, your family and friends need you.”

Chief Sec: Discipline required

Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis recently described the times as unprecedented.

“I think it is the most challenging period in my lifetime – to those who are older than me, they may agree or disagree, but this is in fact a very challenging period.”

He said he is aware of the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Persons have lost jobs; I receive calls and messages on a day-to-day basis – sometimes as late as 11pm and as early as 6am of persons in need of assistance during this time and therefore I want to hold out to all of you that our ability to overcome this requires personal responsibility, it requires a high level of selflessness, it requires a high level of discipline – which is to restrict movement and to continue to follow the protocols.”

In its latest update, the division said there were no new covid19 cases on the island. Active cases are now 57 as there was one discharge.

The division has sent 4,634 samples to the Tobago Regional Health Authority and other local sites for testing. Of the samples, 265 came back positive.

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